Two Russian cosmonauts will drill holes and apply sealant to cease two cracks in one of many oldest modules of the International Space Station.
The cracks are considered the source of a tiny air leak from the station that NASA and Russia’s area company Roscosmos have been investigating for a number of months. Officers with Roscosmos and NASA have repeatedly emphasised that the cracks are small and that the station’s seven-person crew is in no hazard. In a statement Thursday (March four), Roscosmos famous one of many two cracks was solely zero.86 inches (22 mm) lengthy and about 100 microns extensive — simply barely wider than a typical human hair.
NASA’s statement, additionally issued Thursday, centered on simply one of many cracks — however mentioned the crew is in no hazard and “the area station has ample consumables aboard to handle and keep the nominal setting.” NASA additionally identified that this crack sealing effort is a part of ongoing work this previous yr “to isolate and repair the supply of a slight improve above the usual cabin air leak fee aboard the station.”
The leak is within the service module of the Zvezda module, which launched to area in 2000 and kinds a part of the Russian area of the area station. Zvezda helps the station’s life help programs (which have some backup within the U.S. orbital facet of the station) and likewise comprises residing quarters for 2 cosmonauts.
Because the leak is on the Russian facet, Expedition 64 cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov are taking over the restore work, with session from floor help on Earth. They’re utilizing a three mm drill and making use of two sorts of sealing paste and sealing materials, Roscosmos mentioned.
“The holes shall be sealed immediately to reduce the stress drop,” Roscosmos added in the identical assertion. “After that, a number of extra layers of seal paste shall be utilized with a bolstered patch, which shall be coated with one other layer of sealing paste. The metallic borings shall be despatched again to Earth along with the instrument information and photographs collected earlier for additional evaluation.”
Cosmonauts patched up a leak in Zvezda in October 2020 following preliminary stories of a really small drop in air stress, courting way back to September 2019. This leak was so small that the companions deferred it given the small dimension of the crew and their excessive workload on the time.
Final week, Russian information supplier Sputnik Information reported that a commission of Russian space experts together with these from Roscosmos mentioned the cracks are due both to metallic fatigue or a micrometeorite affect. Each of the brand new cracks must be patched up by Friday (March 12), Sputnik News added on March 6.
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